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As SharePoint consultants we have a seen quite a few projects get hung up on branding. We are going to share some tips on how to make the best choices for your company's branding.
Everyone wants to be "modern" and "relevant": kids at school, TV shows, and sports teams... even most moms and dads! Companies are no exception, especially when it comes to marketing their brand to the masses. However, the definition of modern branding can be quite subjective, and there's a lot of unclear and even conflicting information in many guides and sites scattered throughout the internet. One thing is for sure: it often involves a lot of trial and error, and what works for someone else's brand may not work for you.
But all hope is not lost! Here are five universal Do's and Don'ts that are applicable to all modern branding:
#1. DO your research
See what other industry leaders are doing with their branding and sites, but don't get caught up in copying everything they are doing. Making a direct copy of your competition's website will cause your brand to lack any real authenticity. Find the balance between paying attention and staying true to yourself. Make sure your brand and messaging is the overall theme of your site (and especially you homepage), rather than gimmicky tricks or flashy visuals. This also involves having deep knowledge about your intended audience, your industry and your own brand. The clearer the picture you have of these key factors, the better equipped you'll be at making branding decisions that present your site as relevant in the eyes of today's public.
#2. DO consider using a professional service
Sometimes you just don't have the in-house knowledge, talent or ability to do it all yourself. There are some rare instances when this isn't true, but for most of us mere mortals, a little help is needed. That's when you might bring in a branding specialist. It's not an admission to defeat, it's an investment for your company's image. You may not do our own auto repair work, plumbing, roofing or electrical work, so why try to do that with your branding? Let them do the legwork in terms of developing a modern theme for your company and brand.
#3. DO be consistent
Brand consistency is important for building confidence in your visitors that your company "has it together", and adds credibility right off the bat. Inconsistent branding not only looks unprofessional and scattered, but it can also lead to brand confusion and the feeling that your site is out of date, or worse: That it can't afford to maintain their site and is no longer in business!
#4. DO be patient
Patience is key! Good branding doesn't happen overnight, no matter what a particular branding agency may tell you. It takes time, diligence and strategy, so your expectations for success should be adjusted to be realistic. Tracking your progress may help you see where you started and where you're going, so be sure to get as much analytics and data as you go along in this process. See what works and what doesn't, but most of all, don't give up! Just the fact that the site is being updated will keep things "fresh" on your site.
#5. DON'T expect to be "done" with your branding
The cliché of "it's not a destination but a journey" can be said about keeping your branding modern: it will never be "complete" - even after a major update and you've entered the maintenance phase. Remain open to the possibility of future branding updates as your company and industry evolves. Constant changes to your branding are not a "mistake", they are stepping stones in truly establishing your brand among the multitudes of cookie cutter companies out there, an enduring effort as to what makes your company... well, YOUR company. In conclusion, developing a modern branding for today's world is about finding what works best to develop and establish YOUR Company's presence and reputation. Hopefully these tips will be a helpful supplement alongside your current branding strategy.
Speaking of professional branding help, here's a link to our services when it comes to SharePoint branding: SimpleSharePoint Branding
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